Sunday, January 29, 2012


So I just spent 50 minutes writing you all a beautiful email! THIS HAS
But then some how it didn't save and It deleted. I lost the entire
thing! It was about 4 pages! I don't know how it happened! And now I
have no time left! I love you all and I guess I will have to write it
again next week... My heart is broken because it was soooo long!
Ugh!!! I about just died.

But I am getting Transfered... TO VERONA!!


I am sooo sorry! I love you all and I will write again from Verona!

Slla Kate

Tears, Sweat, and... Blood?‏

Dearest Family,
How are you all doing! I hope good! Mom told me you all are pretty busy with plays and such so I hope that goes well for each of you! Gosh I love ya all so stinkin' much and I am sooo proud of you all! And Jos good luck with all your auditions! Know I pray for you all everyday.
Well my family I just got done reading Seth's email for this week. AMAZING! I am so proud of him and all that he is learning. Let me tell you, you learn SO much on the mission it is insane! Your testimony grows and is tested soo much. As I read about Seths experience I just was sooo grateful that he is out here with me, and it's good to know I'm not the only one that had a hard week. ;) This week was really interesting. I had a good lesson taught to me about faith.
As a missionary one of my biggest frustrations is being scared to talk to people. It is sosoooo weird because I haven't really ever considered myself a shy person, and suddenly when I have the most important message to share in the ENTIRE world... my mouth remains shut. Managgia (a personal favorite italian expression of mine). It bothers me because I know that the solution to the problem is more faith and simply opening my mouth, so why is it soooo hard to do it? These thoughts have been in my mind the past week. And when you start focusing on how many people you aren't talking to its easy to start thinking about how much you Aren't doing as a missionary, how weak you are, and how much better you SHOULD be because you know it's true. Blasted Satan... He certainly knows how to work. It reminds me of what Elder Holland said in his conference talk this past year that if Satan can bind the tongues of the righteous then he is content. Well with all this running through my mind I shall be perfectly honest I was frustrated. And it was 100% frustration in myself, why wasn't I a stonger missionary? Why do I get scared? Why don't I feel the spirit guiding me?
We really saw lots of Miracles this week. Liz is doing so great and even called us asking when her baptisimal interview will be. Mauro and Cicilia... funniest people alive and came to church on Sunday! Mauro was dressed like Indiana Jones, don't worry... complete with Cowboy hat, Leather Jacket and cowboy tie. We had a Minor blowout in Gospel principles because Cicilia said that she didn't feel anything. Mauro turned right to her and said "That's because you aren't reading...." I about busted up! It was so cool to see how he had recognized the spirit. With the help of him and some great testimonies from ward members we smoothed things over and promised her if she would read she would start to feel the spirit. Monday we had a great family night with them and the Salazars. Things were good and I was hanging in there.
So then yesterday morning we left the house early because there was a bus strike at 9. We hopped on the bus and about 4 stops later, I am NOT exaggerating about 14 Jehovah Witnesses (no offense, I respect their religion, but it just happened to be that they were JW's) got on the bus. When they saw us, they all came over an stood by us and their leader was literally 5 inches from our face. They were all just staring at us. We just smiled and didn't say anything. They kept being loud and bumping us and talking about us.... as if we couldn't understand. Can I just tell you the spirit was out the window. It was the strangest feeling. Finally the head guy says, "I've never seen girl missionaries... only your friends... where are you working today?" We explained that we had a church in Centro and that is where we were going. He then said, "Well then we won't be in that area." Man was I tempted to snap at him. But we just kept quiet and wished them luck as we got of the bus. I don't know why but it shook me up. Lets just say... tears were shed. Shocking I know. I think it's the first time I cried. It was just a combination of all the frustrations coming out. Well Sorella Bowman and I had a good chat as we waited for our appointment at the church- we decided that it was probably better that we just kept quiet. The rest of the day yesterday we taught a man who is soooo confused about who God is. He won't exept that he is our loving Heavenly Father. And then we taught a girl who we met on the street and she was an Athiest. With each of these lessons they didn't miraculously believe what we were saying, and the girl didn't even take the Book of Mormon, but I got the chance to bear my testimony. And as I thought back over the day each of those experience just reminded me that I had a testimony and that none of those people could shake it. I felt that what I learned was that I without a doubt KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true. I KNOW that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and that he restored the Gospel. I KNOW Heavenly Father Loves us and that he cares about each of his children. We are in a tough battle to share the truth and help people recognize that they have a Father and Savior who want to help them, but what I have to remember is that no matter how grim things may look, we are fighting a battle we WILL win.
And so just like Seth was saying.... everything comes back to Faith. And you can't just get some faith and expect not to nourish it, or have it tested and you have to take care of it. It is a continuous process. Through lots of thinking this week here are somethings i KNOW: that I have been called as a missionary for my SAVIOR, I have the Holy Ghost with me and I WILL make a difference no matter how small with each person I come in contact with. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people and it is our Job to find the elect even if that means planting a million seeds.
Our last appointment last night was with a woman named Romina who is struggling right now. She is less-active but really trying to come back. We shared with her Elder Hales talk, "Waiting on the Lord" I love these parts...
"What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”17
It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”18 It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”19
As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience”20 and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”21
Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast”22 and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”23
It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ”24 and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”
He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in faith.
Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine."
I KNOW that is true. You put your trust in Heavenly Father, and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! He loves me, he loves each of you and no matter what each of us is going through or worrying about, if you patiently wait in Faith(which means acting and doing your part), he PROMISES he will take care of you! I know its true and that it is possible through the atonement of our Savior. I have also been studying a lot in Alma and came accross this gem..
Alma38:5 And now my son, Shiblon [daughter, Katie], I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Now, I am not anywhere close to the trials, troubles, and afflictions that Shiblon faced, but I know that the promise is true for each of us. So put your name in that scripture if your having a bad day :)
All I know is that even now I'm not suddenly going to be perfect at talking to people, but I'm going to try my heart out! Thanks for your support my fam! I love you all so much!
Just before I go, I thought I would share this little diddy with you. Saturday we ate lunch with the Salazars. Lina made sausauge.... BY HAND. Yes, she stuffed the intestines and cooked them. GUESS what type they were? BLOOD SAUSAGE. Yep, she made me leave the kitchen as she poured about a liter of blood into the mixture that she then stuffed into the lining. I about died. The sauage was added to some delicious pig soup- complete with every part of the pig possible.. and I mean EVERY PART, yes liver, heart, lungs, stomach, feet, ears... you know the typical pig soup ingredients. Don't even ask how I muscled it down. Prayers are answered and I'm glad I can hold my breath ;)
I LOVE YOU ALL AND I LOVE TIMES 17 BILLION BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Slla Kates

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Godfather???‏


Sounds like you are all living the dream! Jos and Jake.... what??? I loved the pics! And sooo happy you saw radio city! ;)

This week was proprio crazy... I don't even know how to describe it! Full of miracles and teaching! I talked about Mauro and Cicilia in my last letter home... We have had 2 more lessons with them and they are doing SOOOO good! Mauro, who is a very LARGE man and very Italian had already read to 1 Nephi 14 by our first visit and basically told us back the entire story! It was awesome! He also Entertained us by Quoting from the Godfather, (who he very much resembles from what I have seen on Home Alone) and Singing us Jonny Cash. I love that man! They are awesome and Mauro even told his wife... "I think I want to become a mormon!" Yes we are SOOOOO pleased! We are still meeting with them so yahoo!

I would have to say one another miracle this week was having 5 people in church on Sunday! Saturday night we decided that we were going to call as many people as possible to invite them to come to church. We made tons of calls so we were really excited for church. Sunday morning a few people called us and said they couldn't come. BUT then we ended up having 3 people we didn't expect at church! It was really exciting to have all them there sunday! I am grateful for Heavenly Father recognizing our efforts!

Just a quick Liz update... We had a lesson with her today! She is soooo great because she just soaks in information! We do have to postpone her baptism only because we haven't been able to meet with her. Now it is Scheduled for the 29th... AFTER TRANSFERS... ALAS! But we are happy nonetheless! THe best part is that she has talked to her mom, she told her about coming to church and the lessons! YAHOO! We haven't gotten to the baptism part... but! Progress nonetheless! I LOVE seeing her sooo happy!

As for the crazy part of the week... We had about 50, okay exaggeration, 4 lessons this week with people who just wanted to know more about the church... aka weren't interested really at all. We had an old man whose 50 year old Grandson just yelled his head off at us, a Jehovah Witness who taught us a lot about his religion, and an Old man who told us that he thinks Mormons view God as mean. The hard part about these lessons was just my heart breaking for these people who literally have the truth 2 inches away from them but won't accept it!!! AHHHH!!! Satan is just toooo stinking strong!
But, never fear! We are battling! I know that as we share our testimonies people will recognize the importance of our message, of our Savior, and of our Heavenly Father!!!

I know that this church is true! I know that you can find soooo much Peace and Happiness if you just live it's principles! I love being a missionary and meeting ALL types of people... so fun!
Have the best week ever!

Slla. Kates

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lots of different people and foods!!!

From China to Ecuador, and I'm in Italy!‏

Hey fam...
How ya all doing?? Jos bos and Jake... dont even think about having too much fun without me! Make sure you take an extra jump on the big piano and eat a mcflurry for me! Also you should try to go to the temple there! Jake its sooo cool! Sabrines... Ems... how you doing? You both have letters on the way. Did you start school again? Hope you're having fun!
This week, as usual, was filled with lots of miracles! I love doing missionary work because your life is just full of suprises! Last week when I went to get my permesso I met a girl on the bus from China, Nikki. We talked the whole time because she just happened to be getting her permesso at the same time... fate... I think NOT! Well we got her number and called her but she couldn't meet with us. BUT Sunday we got a call from her and she asked to meet with us! YAHOO! I was sooo happy! We had an incredible lesson with her on Monday,and all in English because she is better at English than Italian! I was excited for the chance to teach in English! Nikki is from China and thus all her family is Buddist... But she doesn't believe it. She knew hardly anything about Christ other than hearing his name in History class. MY MIND WAS BLOWN! Here was this beautiful 26 year old girl who didn't even know she had a Heavenly Father, that she Had a savior, and that they had a plan for her!!! We very simply walked her through the plan of Salvation. She was like an empty slate that we just FILLED with info. The thing is she is sooo smart and took it all in! She asked the most amazing questions... I was literally in Heaven! (Which she was happy to hear actually exists!) The whole experience made me soooooo GRATEFUL for the gospel! I am soooo lucky to have grown up in a home with the gospel and with the Knowledge that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and that I can pray to him whenever I need help. At the end of the lesson I said the prayer... when I was done, she turned to me and said... "that is the first prayer I have ever heard... I feel peace..." AH! I just could not stop smiling! We gave her the Book of Mormon in Chinese and English and she was really excited! As I thought about it on the way home I just thought of the Billions of people who don't reject Christ, they don't even KNOW HIM!!! WE NEED MORE MISSIONARIES!!! How thankful I am for my Savior and I know how important it is we stay close to him!
Another Miracle happened yesterday... We were inside in the morning because my companion wasn't feeling good, I was a little worried since we lost some finding time. But we set out to have a lesson with a referal the Anziani gave us. Her name is Cicilia and she is from Ecquador. When we got to her house, she asked if it would be alright if her husband could listen too. Of course we said yes. And in walks this Jolly, large, Italian man with little round glasses... I about wet my pants! Uncle Vernon from HP in the flesh! We proceeded to have an amazing first lesson and they were filled with about 1,000 questions. They asked us if they could come to church on sunday, and when we would be coming back!!!!!!!! We set a return appointment, and thus... 2 new investigators. Then we were on the bus heading home at the end of the day and got a call from one of our investigators who we haven't been able to see for a while. But it hung up immediately, so thinking it was a squillo, we called her back. She said she didn't mean to call us she was just giving our number to her friend who wants to meet with us! WHAT? we were soo excited and got her information instead to call her! It just really helped me see that we do our best and Heavenly Father will take care of us! What a miracle to have new investigators and a referal all in one night! We are soooo BLESSED!
I love being a missionary soooo much! We had soo much fun New years... It was like Genova was getting bombed... People shoot off illegal fireworks from their windows or throw fireworks into the streets! It was like Fred and George Weasley at their best (Wow two hp allusions in one email... Jake you better appreciate!) IT was the craziest thing! We didn't sleep at all due to the fact that it was happening allll night long! YEAH!
Happy NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!!!! Have a wonderful week and start of 2012 right! Love you with all my heart!
Slla Kates

Oh! I LOVEEEEEE my book and my blanket....they have not left my sight!

And a Happy New Year...‏

Auguri my Family!

Oh my goodness... Christmas was the best thing ever!!! Seeing and Talking to you all was sooooo wonderful! I just wish the time hadn't flown by so quickly! And thank you times a million for the presents, the blanket, book, gloves and socks from Grandma! All of it! We had such a wonderful Christmas!
Christmas eve we spent with the Salazars... I LOVE THAT FAMILY con tutto il mio cuore! They fed us uber amounts of food, we made Tirimisu and then we watched a slide show they made for us of all the pictures with missionaries since their baptism. It was the best... and they gave me leg warmers... could things get any better... I submit not! They have so little and they give EVERYTHING to the missionaries... I love that family!
Then we went for the adventure of Midnight Mass... It was... Educational.... Interesting to learn what christmas mass is like. However, I think I shall stick to family nativities, scroll stories, and the Christmas Song for my christmas eve traditions!
Christmas, just as wonderful! We went to church after making a delicious breakfast of french toast (complete with maple syrup, home made) and Then ate the HUGE fillippino lunch I told you about... pictures are included! Then I got to SEE ALL OF YOU!! Best part! We spent the rest of the night opening our presents and got to watch Narnia! Yahoo!
Everyday we are seeing miracles! Here is one from the week: We had a lunch appointment with a Cate our south African friend on Monday. She invited one of her friends, Jakie, who is south african... and perhaps the funniest person alive and who is not a member. We had a good lunch and then had a lesson. We were together with the Anziani and they shared a story about Christ, then bore their testimonies about how he can help you with anything. Anziano Mina asked if she could have anything, what could Christ give her? She said happiness, because if your happy then everything is good. But then asked, But how can you be happy all the time? The next 30 minutes were filled with spirit lead teaching from all 4 of us missionaries. We talked about the book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and that through Prayer, she can find the happiness she is looking for in her life. At one point, she asked Anziano Mina how he knew God loved him... Anziano Mina with determination bore a powerful testimony of his conversion story, in ENGLISH! The spirit was so strong and she felt it. We didn't have copy of the Book of Mormon in English, but she said she wanted one and we planned to meet with her again. It was truly a miracle that this member invited her friend to this lunch and that the spirit was there with us! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!
Also, I didn't Write about Kerly's Baptism... BUT IT WAS WONDERFUL!! On sunday she got confirmed and seriously she looked so good! She just looks happier!!! That is definately what the Gospel does for you! It has completely Changed this woman's life! I love her so much and It was amazing to be part of bringing her to the Gospel! Why am I so blessed??!!!
I love you all! Have so much fun this new years! Don't worry I shall be safe due to the fact we are not allowed to leave the apartment the 31st at all... we get to clean! Yahoo!
Miss you oodles and BUON ANNO!
P.S. Have fun at Scotts wedding! AUGURI!

Christmas in Italy